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  #41  
Old 07-03-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

Thank you all, to the folks who resurrected this thread.

I put a Raymarine X-5 Smart Pilot on my MacGregor 26X, Bossa Nova, a few years ago. It did a pretty good job, when I used it; but I did have a catastrophic failure of the wheel-drive, probably because of 'inadvertent' stresses on the drive and its motor-pod (Raymarine fixed it under warranty, but it was a nuisance.) What I disliked about it was the fussy "bzzzt-bzzzt-bzzzt" as it swung the helm to each pitch of a wave. Of course, the Mac is a very lightweight boat, long spade rudders, skinny little centerboard, water ballast in the hull - a 26-foot sleep-aboard sailing dinghy.

Now I'm in another boat; a Bristol 29.9 whose ballast alone weighs more that the fully-loaded Mac 26X! (She displaces about 9000#, loaded as she is now for Chesapeake Bay weekends.) I'm planning to take this vessel on longer cruises; in fact I'm emboldened to maybe even take her to Bermuda. I'll be going solo, so of course I'm going to need some kind of self-steering mechanism. I'm wondering whether to go the easy, cheap way with another SPX-5 wheel pilot, or to mount a Cape Horn wind-vane for about three times as much money (but no electrical power needed.)

Any opinions? I'd welcome your thoughts.
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  #42  
Old 07-04-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickWestlake View Post
What I disliked about it was the fussy "bzzzt-bzzzt-bzzzt" as it swung the helm to each pitch of a wave. .
You can adjust gain/sensitivity and reduce the annoyance factor.
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  #43  
Old 07-23-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

Rickwestlake above mentions the annoying Bzzt Bzzt as the unit constantly steers. Mine creaks. It is annoying enough that you want to turn off the pilot a lot of the time. I guess I have to adjust the gain and sensitivity as suggested above to make it steer a bit less, but still, should a nearly new unit make creaking noises as it steers?
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  #44  
Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

i just bought the SPX-5 P70, yesterday, haven't installed it yet They say it is easy but I am a little timid with elec work especially since my boat is old and there's a ratnest of wires. I guess I'll see how it goes this week and report back
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Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by fstuart View Post
i just bought the SPX-5 P70, yesterday, haven't installed it yet They say it is easy but I am a little timid with elec work especially since my boat is old and there's a ratnest of wires. I guess I'll see how it goes this week and report back
Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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  #46  
Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

I'm picking mine up on Tuesday to be installed on my Morgan 33 Out Island. I'll keep you posted how it works.

Gary
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  #47  
Old 08-27-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

I've found that if you flush the wheel mechanism with fresh water the buzzing / creaking sound goes away.......the manual recomends this as part of the regular maintenance.
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Old 08-27-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

Have used nine extensively on trips including right now as we are sailing back down the LISound to the Chesapeake. Works like a charm, especially integrated with our C90w chart plotter. Fresh water rinse when leaning the boat takes care of the abberant noises. Worked well on a 20 knot wind sail broad reaching last week. Usually the telling point on auto pilots with large amount of yawing with almost following seas. Key is in the calibration or it is constantly working.

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  #49  
Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

I've got mine installed - but due to family matters, I haven't been able to take it out and commission the SmartPilot system yet.

The newer system comes with a "SeaTalk ng" network, which is more involved to install than the old ST6002 control head. On Bossa Nova, I ran the control-head cable straight to the computer box, and it got its power from there; with the new system, I had to install a network 'backbone' and run both power and network connections to this thing. I also had to buy a separate cable direct from Raymarine to hook this 'backbone' to the control head - this because of the length of the cable run.

The Sea Talk ng cable presents another 'interesting problem' with cable runs, because Raymarine says it should not be bent in a curve tighter than a 4-inch radius. This meant I had to find a way to run the cable along bulkheads in this smooth curve, which means get a lot of screw-in-place cable ties to secure it this way.

Raymarine advises you - wisely - to plan out all your cable runs and hookups before you start your installation. I made some mistakes, and the job took a lot longer than I'd expected, but I'm satisfied with the results. So far.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: Smart Pilot Raymarine X5 Wheel Pilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchard View Post
Rickwestlake above mentions the annoying Bzzt Bzzt as the unit constantly steers. Mine creaks. It is annoying enough that you want to turn off the pilot a lot of the time. I guess I have to adjust the gain and sensitivity as suggested above to make it steer a bit less, but still, should a nearly new unit make creaking noises as it steers?
I thought I'd update my creaking complaint. I learned on a recent long cruise that the locater pin that you affix to the pedestal had worked its way loose. The loud creaking I was hearing was that pin moving back and forth as it got looser and looser. 45 seconds with a screwdriver removed most of my noise complaint. I still have to get in there with some threadlocker.
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